We reported yesterday how the remaining elite international swimming event of the Japan Swim was officially been cancelled in light of the still-present coronavirus (COVID-19) threat worldwide.
The catalyst for cancellation of the event originally slated for April 2nd – April 7th was the press conference held yesterday by Governor Yuriko Koike. Koike called on Tokyo residents to exercise restraint to avoid a lockdown. She said the next three weeks were critical for whether Tokyo would see an “overshoot”–an explosive rise–in virus cases.
A day later, the Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF) provided a more detailed announcement of the cancellation.
JASF Director Tsuyoshi Aoki‘s statement begins, “We express our sincere condolences to those who died and their families due to this new coronavirus infection. I pray that all affected individuals will recover as soon as possible.”
He continues to reiterate that the safety of athletes, families and stakeholders are being given top priority and he thanks everyone for their ‘understanding’ in the need to cancel the Olympic-qualifying meet.
“It’s not easy to reset your mind and body, but we want you to switch your mind and practice again without losing your big goals.”
Additionally, Aoki said, “the Japanese swimming community will continue to move forward in order to raise the Japanese flag on the center pole at the Tokyo Olympics.”
The selection criteria and Olympic selection event will be revised once the dates are determined for the Tokyo Olympic Games for 2021. The Japanese newspaper Yomiuri reports that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is working to set up the postponed Tokyo Olympics for July and August of 2021.
Seto had gained auto-qualification in both IM events by way of his winning gold in the 200m and 400m at the 2019 FINA World Aquatic Championships in Gwangju, Korea.